Come Alive: Interview with Motion Graphics Artist Dan Darling

Riding a Boosted board is a magical experience. When you first roll the throttle forward and feel the board come alive under your feet, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. In our latest holiday campaign videos, we sought to capture that magic in a cool, abstract kind of way.

At Boosted we love working with talented folks who bring a unique perspective to our projects, so we teamed up with Dan Darling, a motion graphics artist based out of San Clemente, CA. We spent eight weeks concepting and developing the film, and we couldn’t be more proud of the final result. Recently, we sat down with Dan for a quick Q&A to offer a glimpse into his creative process and how this video came about.


So Dan, what was your process for designing the movements in these videos? They’re pretty stunning.

Thanks! Between the two spots, we spent about 6 weeks on R&D creating different shots and then iterating on camera movements, angles, and timing. Basically, we just tried tons of different combinations of shots and transitions to figure out what worked best to convey the energy and playfulness in these boards. I think we generated around 350 dev shots before we nailed down the final shot list. 

Dan created over 350 development shots and explored many different motions and visuals.

Did you run into any challenges along the way?

The biggest challenge is just dealing with the inevitable creative block that hits halfway through the project. In this case, it really helped to have other artists involved. I collaborated with my good friend Andy Hahn who is an amazing animator and filmmaker. His input really helped push the concept much further than I could have taken it on my own. Kyson Dana, the Art Director at Boosted also had a lot of great input throughout the process. It was rad. Usually clients are skeptical of anything that is too abstract or pushes the boundaries too much, but Kyson really pushed us to make it more weird and different. Really it was just the perfect team for a project like this.

The sound and music add so much to both videos. What was that process like?

We worked with Matt Wilcock from Zelig, an incredibly talented composer/sound designer based in London. We started off with some loose musical references then really let him run with it. We wanted to capture the playful personality of the boards without being too serious. We kept things pretty loose and developed the sound and visuals simultaneously so we could feed off of each other. That kind of collaborative, iterative process helped make the sound and visuals way more cohesive.

What are you into aside from creating awesome content?

I grew up snowboarding but kinda got sick of the cold so I’ve just been surfing and traveling the last few years. I love spending time outside, in the ocean or with friends and family. It really helps me recharge.

What did you think the first time you got on a Boosted board?

I rode Mini first and loved it. It feels more comfortable to me, like a regular cruiser board. It’s just super fun to rip around. Hyper mode on Stealth honestly scares me a bit, haha. It’s so fast and powerful, it takes a minute to get used to. I feel like I could almost ride that thing on the freeway! Both are great and it was fun to try and channel the different riding styles into the ‘personality’ and movements of the two boards.

Any last thoughts for people who are inspired by these videos and who want to pursue a career like yours?

There are so many resources online to learn 3D animation and motion design. Really, anyone can get into it these days. I’ve spent hundreds of hours learning and watching tutorials on sites like Greyscale Gorilla, Eyedesyn, Lynda, and Digital Tudors. You just have to put in the time to learn and develop a unique style.